Daily Archives: December 26, 2012

Not Fit for Normal Consumption

I’m slowly coming to the realization that I probably will never be able to use Facebook like most people do, because it is the bastion of the normal. Your mother is probably on there, your boss is probably on there, and even if you’re good with lists and whom you friend, you’re going to probably end up with a weird cross-section of life. Usually I relish this, but it’s too chaotic, and frankly crap in that place.

I’m coming to this realization because it seems that no matter what I post, some not-that-thinking person will post something in reply that will set me off. It doesn’t matter how innocuous my post might be — there is always someone out there ready to rush in and shove their foot in their mouth. And worst of all, I have that ‘joy’ of constantly feeling like it’s my fault because my brain isn’t wired like theirs. Having said that, I don’t overly blame me, and even try to consider other peoples’ viewpoints; after all, we ourselves are generally the funniest and smartest people we know. After all, we know what makes ourselves laugh, and woe betide those who disagree… or something.

Still, it leaves me in a painful bind — do I pretend to be what I am not to appease the masses, or do I stay true unto myself? The answer is obvious to me — to lie is to make me want to kill myself. To be true is perilous because it is so stressful that other people have whacked-out standardized expectations, but at least I know that I’m being myself. I just… I don’t know, wish I could be the open book I consider myself to be without risking so much freaking pain. As I put it to something yesterday — I don’t have the spoons to deal with other peoples’ crap, especially when it shouldn’t be in my space in the first place.

Anyways, I don’t know what to add past this bit of venting. I’ve got the chemical sad feeling going through my veins again atop the existing depression, so it’s not exactly ideal. I’m still fighting it and wondering how bad it can get. It’s maintained low-level for this month, after all, but that could just as easily mean that I’ve got a few months of this crap before nudging back up. It probably does mean that, the slow slide deeper and darker. Nothing to do for it but to keep gritting my teeth, and trying to mend and make do with what I have. Hopefully having the better part of a week off to slack will give my brain some space to flop out and quit being crappy, yanno, instead of finding more dark holes to dive into. Blah blah, I’m shaking the tiny fist of impotent rage, blah blah.

But still, hope all of y’all out there are doing okay.

<3

the fat suit

i’ve been gaining weight since i started taking lithium in may.  7 months later and i am wearing a full blown fat suit, with 20 lbs added on my frame.  most of my clothes don’t fit and i’m uncomfortable in my skin.  in order to feel sexy, i have to get completely decked out; otherwise, forget about it.  i don’t want to take pictures and i refuse to have some people see me like this.

i’m really disgusted with myself, and in order to make any changes, i have to dedicate time and energy to implementing my no sugar-no flour diet.  i haven’t had the time or space to do that, and i won’t really for another few weeks.  in the mean time, i keep punishing myself with food, which feeds further into the disgust and the cycle gets worse.

i’m down to one pair of jeans…from two only a few weeks ago.  a pair of shorts that fit me two weeks ago is strained over my waist and thighs now (in fairness, i made the mistake of putting them in the dryer rather than air drying them like usual).

this extra weight is not just physical.  it’s emotionally heavy too, and i feel pretty low all the time because of it.  i can sense it all the time, and it’s this constant burden in the back (or often, in the forefront) of my mind.

interestingly, despite perceiving myself as an utter failure, lard-ass, fat, disgusting pig, other people do not seem to share this opinion.  i’ve had people expressing interest in me without fail any time i go out.  strangely this even happens when i’m not all decked out.  unfortunately, because of my self-perception, i’m less inclined to reciprocate anything.

it’s been an exercise in self-compassion.  i gave myself the semester to get back into functional mode, and swore i would deal with the fat when i had successfully returned to something resembling normality.  i often have to remind myself that i have permission to be this way, that a lot of factors influenced where i am now, many of which were out of my control, and that it’s acceptable, given what i’ve been through this year.

but i can’t lie.  i will cry tears of joy as i shed this weight.  as the constant feeling of fatness wanes and as i am able to fit into my clothes again.  as i feel increasingly comfortable in social situations and in less and less clothing.  as my sex drive increases with every pound lost and i’m happy to be naked and free, and comfortable at the prospect of actually having sex–on top, with the lights on, for as long as i like.

it will take work.  i have to plan out meals for every day over a span of about 2 months (my estimate of how long it will take to get back to my old weight), go grocery shopping regularly and prepare and freeze meals, not drink or go out to eat, and get regular exercise.  once i get back into it, it will come off easily.  last year i lost 16 lbs in a month and a half or less using this exact regimen.  it was a glorious, unbelievable experience and i’m looking forward to doing it again.

and again, i’ll promise myself that i will never get like this again.  it’s just that this time, i’m much more aware of the factors that lead me to gain weight.  lithium, for one.  depression, for two. if i can moderate or eliminate those factors, then i should be able to keep my promise.

my primary goal is to remain emotionally stable, which is one reason i’m taking a vacation from dating.  besides the fact that i’m fat and disgusting.  :)


family circus

so, i’m not really stellar right now.  i’ve been trying to evaluate the factors that might be contributing to my dullish demeanor.  there are some likely suspects:

  • i’ve been extremely stressed out the last few weeks as i finished up the semester and had to prepare for my winter course.
  • my diet has been less than nutritional
  • i’ve not gotten enough exercise
  • i’m fat
  • i decreased my lithium dosage and stopped taking prozac
  • my family is a literal shit-show

five out of six of these are subject to change and i have reasonable control over them.  the last one, not so much.

i’ve come to visit home for the holidays.  for the first time in nearly a year.  let me give you a nice little window into my family dynamics.

first, my immediate family has either been completely obliterated or hungover any time i’ve seen them.  my mother was available for all of 24 hours and left to northern california before christmas.  clearly, getting some alone time with her boyfriend was more important than spending time with me or anyone else in the family.  my sister is caught up in her own life, is relatively unavailable to connect with, and her priorities don’t really include me…the first thing my aunt said to me when she saw me is, “are you pregnant?”…and my grandmother’s first response to seeing me was, “if you think i’m happy to see you, think again”.

with family like that, who needs enemies?


confidence-building exercises

it’s the first week i’ve felt like i can breathe in months.  last week, for example, i literally did nothing but sleep and work, with more of the latter consuming the time.  i slept on the couch every night, and would wake up and flip open my lap top to keep going until i couldn’t work anymore.  i had no food in my house, and no time to shop, let alone cook, so i ordered food to be delivered every day.  dominos boxes piled up several feet high as i plugged through grading hundreds of papers and setting up my winter course which is, fortunately, online.

the good news is that i successfully taught my two courses…two courses that amounted to over 150 students.  having gone from being completely dysfunctional over the summer to providing a level of instruction i’m proud of, all while remaining stable and fulfilling most of my other obligations as well, is something i’m extraordinarily happy about.  i was pretty concerned that i would just completely fail or collapse, but i’m glad to say that that fear was not realized.

i gave myself permission to limit my real responsibilities to teaching those two courses.  i put research on hold, as well as several other personal goals that i would like to pursue.  i needed to see that i could function again.  i needed to rebuild my confidence that was completely shattered over the summer, when i found myself unable to finish sentences, follow conversations, or think at any complex level.

i wasn’t perfect.  grades lagged, often way too long to be fair to students.  sometimes i didn’t respond to questions in time.  i’m sure several students were pretty annoyed with me at times.  i accepted that too, and promised myself that i would do better next time.

the important part was that i successfully designed and implemented an online class, despite its being my first time teaching online.  i’m actually pretty proud of how well i structured the class, and with the assignments i created (although i definitely created too many).  it was such a pleasure to get to observe learning in an online environment, and to see my students engage with the material.  i really feel that my students learned a *lot* in that class.

i also taught my first large lecture class at the community college.  i remember visiting the room before classes began, and my stomach dropped at the size of the room.  my previous classes were quite small, ranging from 10-20 people.  this room had a capacity that could accommodate over 70 students.  i was able to create an atmosphere that encouraged a lot of discussion despite the large class size, and students gave me a lot of positive feedback about the class and my instruction.

when i received negative feedback, i listened sincerely but also kept in mind that major transition that i was making in being able to actually function.  the standard of comparison was not being a perfect teacher; it was being a capable one.  it was relative to my functionality over the summer, so i could have done much worse and still have been successful.

happily, i wasn’t just adequate.  i was awesome.


Mood swings- The weirdness of the human mind

All those hours spent obsessing over my mother’s bullshit…

Then at some point today, my brain just went elsewhere and it was gone and most of my anger and irritation went with it.

Why?

MOOD SHIFT.

I am baffled by the human mind, especially my own.

How can I go from mood to mood with barely a transition at times, and sometimes rather than rapid fire shift, it’s just a gradual thing.

I even called mom to wish her a merry christmas. Ten hours ago, I vowed to absolutely have no contact with her today even if it meant war with her later about how rude I am. I was so hurt and pissed off and in that mental state, I was perfectly serious about not contacting her.

And then hours later…mood shift…different mind set.

I suppose this would make me mercurial, although I really don’t believe it is simple personality dysfunction.

My moods are like vice grips, they don’t let up until the shift is ready to happen and no amount of self pep talks or bullying or rationalization sways my mind during the various moods.

I had to do that personality assessment for the job ap the other day…and three times in different wording it asked the same question. Basically, do you stay in the same mood all day or do you have various mood swings.

How does one with my condition  answer that? They don’t want the truth, it’s an instant disqualifier, even if they say otherwise. They want mindless vapidly happy worker drones, not someone who needs a ten minute break during lunch rush to go cry because their mood took a nosedive.

How can I not be moody?

I have a MOOD DISORDER.

I do my best not to let it show and not to act on it, but occasionally the facade slips. I take all the meds, I do what I am supposed to…But this is my reality, day in, day out.

And it becomes clearer every day my reality simply does not fit this cookie cutter world, where if you don’t fit the mold, you don;t stand a chance.

Today proved the point.

I went from happy to pissed off to hurt to depressed to mellow to neutral to snappish and pissed off again, and now I am back in mellow land. All in a 13 hour span. ON FULL MEDICATION.

If they can build accessibilty ramps for people in wheelchairs, then why can’t they make allowances for people who just might need to go cry or smash things mid shift?

yeah, I am random and without segue. My brain is fucked.

It asked about memory. My brain is so fried on med side effects…I don’t remember things ten seconds after being told if it relates to numbers or such. My brain is teflon, things dont; stick to the surface.

It seems that every part of me is simply unemployable.

15 months looking for a job.

med after med trying to stabilize.

And what it boils down to…

Is that with mood swings, I will never be the corporate drone required for employment.

Constantly daily reminder that no matter how hard I try, I am screwed from the get go. I won’t give up, I can’t but unless some understanding brave manager is willing to roll the dice on me (and I can’t say I’m  a safe bet at all times)….

Okay, rant done, but that’s been weighing on my mind for some time now.

Holiday survived.

Mood roller coaster ride 12 billion survived.

Time for blissful nothingness called sleep.

Oh, wait, I have sleep disturbance so even that is not a sanctuary.

And my doctor says I am on too  many pills and takes my sleeping pill away then tells me if I am not sleeping, I need to take a pill, go buy melatonin.

WHAT THE FUCK.

brain

hurts.

must

tune out

reality

for awhile.

Merry Cryptmas to all, and to all a good fright. Er, night.